Her story begins in the Miami Beach she grew up in, when hotel signs boasted "Always a View, Never a Jew" and where a passenger ship lingered just off shore carrying hundreds of European Jews hoping for--but never finding--sanctuary. It was a time of innocence, before that war in Europe became our war.
Stella was nineteen when America entered the fighting. By the time she was twenty-three, the war was over. She married Jack Suberman the week he enlisted and set out alone to join him in California. She was kicked off trains to make room for soldiers, her luggage was stolen, she was arrested for soliciting, but she was determined to follow her husband. And she did so for the next four years as he was sent from air base to air base, first training to be a bombardier and then training others. It wasn't until he was sent overseas to fly combat missions that she finally went back home to wait, as did so many other soldier's wives.
This remarkable memoir renders a double understanding of war--of how it matured a young woman and how it matured a country. By personalizing the patriotism of the 1940s, Stella Suberman's story becomes the story of all military wives and serves as a powerful reminder of how differently many Americans feel about war sixty years later.
When Bena's first husband, Bobby Eckert, dies in a car wreck, she's left with their five children, a little mortgaged house, a little bit of insurance, and a big empty place in her heart. Not to mention that the hole Bobby left is jagged around the edges—he wasn't in the car alone and Bena hadn't had a clue about his girlfriend.
So now she's a cheated-on widow with five grief-stricken children to finish raising. No matter. No matter that she almost burns the house down when she discovers the marijuana farm in their backyard or that she has terrible, loud crying jags in church. When it gets down to it, Bena's backbone bends minimally and her moral center holds.
By the time she's ready to invest again in romance, Bena know what she wants. When she finds the right man and the right circumstances, she doesn't hesitate—she marries Lucky McHale. And what does he do? He disappears off the face of the earth.
Verbena is the vibrant story of an extraordinary ordinary woman—strong, emotional, headstrong, sexy, funny—an especially American woman, one worth knowing and cheering.
Charlie Lewis is the only child of city people who, after the war, choose to live at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a "gentleman's farm" near Charlottesville. Six years old when his family settles in the renovated corn crib on old Professor Jame's place, Charlie grows up in his personal version of heaven. His innocence is, of course, lost in the process. And so is his version of heaven.
But, as the old saying goes, still waters run deep, and Charlie runs deep, with a natural (almost supernatural) affinity for the land and its animals. For knowledge , he instinctively turns to a group of older black men, some of whom work the farm, others who are neighbors. Jim Crow laws and "the curse left on the land by slavery"--as old Professor James puts it--are still very much in evidence. Even so, Charlie's passions endear him to these men. They understand that he is lonely even if he does not. They watch out for him. And more--they love him.
Winter Run is a story that lets us escape for a moment our own noisy and complicated contemporary lives. Like The Red Pony, like Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, it takes us back to the joys of childhood's unrestricted enthusiasm and curiosity.
Martin Torgoff begins with the avant-garde worlds of bebop jazz and the emerging Beat writers, who embraced the consciousness-altering properties of marijuana and other underground drugs. These musicians and writers midwifed the age of marijuana in the 1960s even as Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) discovered the power of LSD, ushering in the psychedelic era. While President John Kennedy proclaimed a New Frontier and NASA journeyed to the moon, millions of young Americans began discovering their own new frontiers on a voyage to inner space. What had been the province of a fringe avant-garde only a decade earlier became a mass movement that affected and altered mainstream America.
And so America sped through the century, dropping acid and eating magic mushrooms at home, shooting heroin and ingesting amphetamines in Vietnam, snorting cocaine in the disco era, smoking crack cocaine in the devastated inner cities of the 1980s, discovering MDMA (Ecstasy) in the rave culture of the 1990s.
Can't Find My Way Home tells this extraordinary story by weaving together first-person accounts and historical background into a narrative vast in scope yet rich in intimate detail. Among those who describe their experiments with consciousness are Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Robert Stone, Wavy Gravy, Grace Slick, Oliver Stone, Peter Coyote, David Crosby, and many others from Haight Ashbury to Studio 54 to housing projects and rave warehouses.
But Can't Find My Way Home does not neglect the recovery movement, the war on drugs, and the ongoing debate over drug policy. And even as Martin Torgoff tells the story of his own addiction and recovery, he neither romanticizes nor demonizes drugs. If he finds them less dangerous than the moral crusaders say they are, he also finds them less benign than advocates insist.
Illegal drugs changed the cultural landscape of America, and they continue to shape our country, with enormous consequences. This ambitious, fascinating book is the story of how that happened.
Award-winning author Jill McCorkle takes us on a splendid journey through time and memory in this, her tenth work of fiction. Life After Life is filled with a sense of wonder at our capacity for self-discovery at any age. And the residents, staff, and neighbors of the Pine Haven retirement center (from twelve-year-old Abby to eighty-five-year-old Sadie) share some of life’s most profound discoveries and are some of the most true-to-life characters that you are ever likely to meet in fiction. Delivered with her trademark wit, Jill McCorkle’s constantly surprising novel illuminates the possibilities of second chances, hope, and rediscovering life right up to the very end. She has conjured an entire community that reminds us that grace and magic can—and do—appear when we least expect it.-- from the Algonquin catalog
Kurt Clausen has been fired from several newspapers already. He always gets into trouble--always. It isn't that Kurt can't write; quite the contrary. It's just that much of what gets into newspapers is stupid, and Kurt can't keep his mouth shut about it. Begin to Exit Here, John Welter's first novel, offers us a comic look at the wayward press from the inside. Now in its twentieth year, this novel remains as timely as ever.-- from the jacket